It was another slow week of migration. This week, high pressure dominated, and a northerly to easterly flow continued essentially unabated from Saturday through Thursday. Winds were at least light enough at night that some birds fought the unfavorable conditions and “new” birds arrived almost every day, just never in large numbers. But it remains slim pickings, especially at migrant traps this week. Even on Thursday morning (more calm winds overnight allowed a few more birds to proceed) – my best day of the spring so far – numbers at Florida Lake were still very low for the date. The quality more than made up for it, however!
My observations of note over the past six days included:
10 species of warblers in one place for the first time this spring – finally – but led by only 14 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 8 Black-and-white Warblers, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
1 continuing Louisiana Waterthrush, Morgan Meadow WMA, 5/11.
1 PROTHONOTARY WARBLER among 15 species of warblers, Florida Lake Park, 5/12, led by ~25 Yellow-rumped Warblers and 9+ Black-and-white Warblers. The PROW was my 169th all-time species at the park! I first found it along the base of the long dike at the north edge of the pond, as it belted out a song within about 8-10 feet from me. Foraging in low shrubs along the pond edge, in perfect light, I was of course without my camera. I did get some identifiable video and a recording of the song with my phone, before taking off in a sprint to the parking lot. I returned with my camera and eventually refound the bird when it sang again from the small wooded island in the lake (photo above), just as Noah Gibb arrived. It then flew right past me as it disappeared into the woods. It reappeared a short while later on the island and was seen by several more people. I am still kicking myself, however, for leaving the camera in the car when it was so close. Such a stunning bird deserves a better photo.
And my list of personal “first of years” this week also included the following:
1 Veery, Florida Lake Park, Freeport, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
1 Nashville Warbler, Florida Lake Park, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler, Florida Lake Park, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, Florida Lake Park, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
1 Northern Waterthrush, Florida Lake Park, 5/7 (with Saturday Morning Birdwalk group).
I had relatively few things scheduled this week, so I took full advantage to spend a little extra time in the field – it might be July by the time I get a week this open again! While I definitely “swung for the fences” a few times in my pursuit of finding rare birds, I enjoyed a really great week of birding overall.
My observations of note over the past seven days included:
1 Red Crossbill, Waterboro Barrens Preserve, Waterboro, 4/11 (with Jeannette).
But my highlight was experiencing a fallout along the southern York County coast on 4/14, led by Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Golden-crowned Kinglets, but also including goodly tallies of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers, White-throated Sparrows, Northern Flickers, and especially Hermit Thrushes. I also totaled 10 sparrow species on the day, several first-of-years, but alas, none of the hoped-for rarities. I summarized the event briefly in this post.
And my list of personal “first of years” and other new arrivals this week really showed the progression of the season.
2 Yellow-rumped Warblers (FOS), Florida Lake Park, 4/13.
1 drake Blue-winged Teal, Spring Brook Farm, Cumberland, 4/13.
1 Chipping Sparrow, feeders here at the store, 4/13.
1 Field Sparrow, Fort Foster, Kittery, 4/14.
1 Eastern Towhee, Fort Foster, 4/14.
1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Fort Foster, 4/14.
1 pair GADWALL (FOS), Seapoint Beach, Kittery, 4/14.
1 Dunlin (FOS), Seapoint Beach, 4/14.
And finally, the first event of this year’s extended Feathers Over Freeport celebration is Wednesday, 4/20 at Maine Beer Co. A portion of the proceeds of every food purchase will directly support the weekend’s events! I’ll be joining park staff to answer questions about our local state parks, local birding, and the Feathers Over Freeport Weekend. For more information, visit: www.maine.gov/feathersoverfreeeport
With the Bradbury Mountain Hawkwatch underway, not surprisingly, just about all of my time was spent up there, getting our new counter up to speed and prepared for the flights to come. My observations of note over the past seven days included:
Good pulse of American Robins, Song Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Common Grackles into the area this week.
4 Fox Sparrows (FOY), our yard in Pownal, 3/14. At least 3 continued through week’s end.
2 Red-shouldered Hawks (FOS), Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.
2 Wood Ducks (FOY), Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.
3 Fox Sparrows, Runaround Pond Recreation Area, Durham, 3/18.
This Week in Finches. I guess the “return flight” of most species moved northward to our west so far.
Red Crossbill: 1, Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch, 3/16.